A transformational leader can help smooth the process of business or process reorganization.
The most difficult management challenge in the world of business is leading an organization through a major change in mission, philosophy, and business practice. This total “transformation” of the social, technical, and cultural structure of the organization requires management, leadership, and relationship skills beyond the reach of many senior executives.
A merger is tough and requires both a financial and cultural resolution.
Downsizing is difficult and requires a firm grip on budgets, attitudes, and legalisms.
Devolution of power from a vertical hierarchy to a horizontal team-based structure is frightening due to the scope of change that must occur to make this successful.
None of these situations, however, can compare to the overwhelming difficulty of a true business transformation.
A business transformation means more than increasing speed to market or responding to the unique needs of the customer or to updating technology to meet or beat competition. Transformation is a profound change in the way we think and act. It is also a change in the way we create the products and processes that drive our organizations.
If business transformation was described in terms of life transformation, we would be forced to describe it as a total biological overhaul – a complete DNA/RNA restructuring which would profoundly affect the physical, emotional, and mental human being. In tehse teerms, transformation is almost as important as the development of the wheel, of fire and of biotechnology. Each of thse represents a major step in the developmetn of the human race. Each of these represents a shift in thinking. Ewach represents profound acceptance that things weill never be the way they were.
The transformational leader is that exceptional person who combiens the ability to think analytically and operate emotionally to pull the best from peole at all levels of an organization. It is that exceptional person who is not afraid to be afraid, who is not all-knowing, but who questions everything. It is that exceptional person who is willing to share both successes and failures in a sincere effort to get involvement and commitment from others.
A transformational leader knows how to create and manage a vision, as well as to live and share a philosophy. These relationships builders focus on encouraging every employee to hshare in the tast of transformation.l They know that every employee is asking the ageless question, “What does it mean to me?” They know that all people are driven by self preservation, fear and enlightened self- interest.
Transformational leaders understand the Faranda maxim, “Leaders and followers always need something to grab onto before they are willing to let go of what they have”.
Transformational leaders ensure people have something tangible to grab onto – something that frees them of their fears and allows them to step up to eh edge of the chasm. They provide just enough of a safety net to reassure people that their jump will be successful. They give enough of a kick to force people to jump the chasm and enter a totally alien environment where departments have become process teams; kingdoms have become cross-functional work groups; and, managers are leading the revolution against evolution.
Transformation is revolution with a plan. It is not always peaceful. It is not always kind. It is not always fun. It is, however, always responsible. It is always well intentioned. It is always focused on the mission and the philosophy that drives the transformation toward long-term success.
The successful transformational leader makes people responsible for their work rather than for their job. It makes them responsible for their achievements, rather than for their objectives, and for their potential rather than their goals.
They are intimate in their relationships with subordinates as well as customers. They thrive on creating a climate of success. They look outside the organization for the big picture, as well as looking inside for the tools of transformation.
The most difficult management challenge is transformation, but is also the most satisfying management reward.
Transformational leadership is the essence of successful leadership of the future.